Waitrose introduces new social distancing measures for their stores

Waitrose is introducing new measures to enforce social distancing in their stores, including limits on the number of customers in shops and adding stickers guiding people to maintain distance when queuing.

To protect people from coronavirus, Waitrose is backing the Government’s requests for tighter social distancing protocols.

As they provide the essential service of food, Waitrose shops will remain open during the lockdown, and people will be able to leave their homes to pick up groceries – although we’re asked to do this infrequently.

Waitrose branches will now limit the number of customers allowed in at one time. Limits will be specific to each branch based on the number of tills and shop managers will need to use their judgment on when the store is too full to maintain social distancing and when to operate a one in, one out policy.

They will still dedicate the first opening hour to elderly and vulnerable customers and those caring for them and NHS staff will continue to be given priority checkout service.

Marshals will help to manage queues outside shops and remind customers to maintain a distance of two metres apart. There will also be signs and a coned area to help people keep distant.

Inside the stores you’ll spot stickers on the floor – reading ‘Leave space. Leave safe. Help us to protect you’ to ensure customers stay two metres apart while queuing up for checkout. You’ll just need to stand on the stickers to ensure you’re keeping the correct distance away from other customers.

Waitrose is also adding in checkout screens to protect people from infected moisture droplets and introducing special protective visors to create a barrier.

The store is also encouraging more contactless shopping, advising customers to use the QuickCheck App to reduce the handling of products and speed up checkout with minimal contact. Customers will be asked to go cashless and contactless, too – handily the contactless payment limit is being upped to £45.

To avoid stockpiling, Waitrose is only allowing people to buy three of the same grocery item (excluding fresh fruit and veg, Easter treats, beers, wines, cider and spirits) and a maximum of two packs of toilet roll.

Bérangère Michel, Partner & Executive Director, Customer Service John Lewis Partnership said: ‘The health of our Partners and customers has always been our number one priority and we fully support social distancing.

‘While these measures will dramatically change how people shop and interact with others in our stores for the moment – they are absolutely vital to ensure that our customers can shop safely and that our Partners are protected as they go above and beyond to serve shoppers in this time of crisis.’

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